When most of us think of pharmacists, we tend to think of the people at our neighbourhood drug store dispensing medicines. But community pharmacy is just one of the many career paths open to qualified pharmacists. Graduates in pharmaceutical studies have plenty of other career paths to choose from, such as:
Clinical pharmacy: This is an area that concerns the optimising of medication therapy to promote good health. Clinical pharmacists work with physicians and nurses to improve pharmaceutical care.
Hospital pharmacy: A hospital pharmacists advises health professionals on the actions and interactions of drugs, dispenses prescription drugs, and manufactures preparations.
Industrial pharmacy: Pharmacists are employed pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology firms in the areas of research and development, testing, quality control, and government regulations.
Community pharmacy: Your neighbourhood pharmacist is responsible for the safe and effective distribution of prescription medicines
Pharmacists are basically the medication experts. They are the ones who understand how a medication heals, how it reacts with food and other medicines, and its side effects. This powerful knowledge makes pharmacists indispensable in the healthcare scenario. You can find them working in hospitals, clinics, managed-care organisations, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies, government health and law enforcement agencies, and as lecturers and researchers at universities around the world.
So what do you study to become a qualified pharmacist?
Plenty of leading universities in the U.S. offer accredited courses in Pharmacy and related subjects at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies
This course teaches you physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, basic microbiology, anatomy and physiology. You learn how to apply this knowledge to pharmacy practice. An undergraduate degree helps you qualify for entry-level positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
Master of Science in Pharmacy
A master’s degree in Pharmaceutical prepares you for research and teaching careers and provides students with plenty of work opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and private and public research institutes. You get to select an area of specialization from one of the many pharmaceutical science disciplines such as medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutics. The course prepares students for careers in drug discovery and development or further studies at the MPhil or Phd levels.
Some institutions offer a combined course which earns you BS and MS degrees in five years. St. Johns University offers an MS in Pharmacy with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Marketing. This is for students who want to get into pharmaceutical sales, marketing, administration and drug regulations.
What do you need to apply for a degree in pharmacy?
If you enjoyed studying biology and chemistry at school or college and wish to expand your knowledge in these areas a degree in pharmacy is a great option to consider. Entry requirements for a master’s degree in pharmacy include an undergraduate degree in chemistry, biology, microbiology or physics. To apply for a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical studies, you need to be a high school graduate who has studied college preparatory courses in this area.